Extreme perseverance and an exceptional conversion rate enabled defending champions India U20 register a comprehensive 8-0 victory against Nepal in the ongoing SAFF Championship at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
The victory took India to 6 points from 3 matches, and they will next play Maldives in their last league match on August 2.
For India, Taison Singh (32nd and 66th), and Parthiv Gogoi (50th and 52nd) scored a brace each, while Himanshu Jangra (70th), and substitutes Tankadhar Bag (78th), Gurkirat Singh (89th), and Shubho Paul (90+3) scored one apiece.
India’s domination and ball possession was complete, and Shanmugam Venkatesh’s were quick to interchange, played it in the gaps, and had someone to support the other all throughout.
The first-goal was a gift with a smart Taison making the most of it in the 32nd minute. Nepal goalkeeper Ishwor Singh, much to be credited to deny India till then, failed to collect a routine gathering off Maheson Singh’s cross from the left, and as it fell to Taison lurking around, the latter headed it into an empty net.
The lead was doubled five minutes after the changeover. Jangra, a thorn in the flesh of the rival defence, feinted inside the box and laid it for Parthiv who banged it in.
The third goal, some two minutes later, was a leaf taken out from the textbook. Jangra sent it in between the two defenders, and Parthiv following it up delectably lobbed it over Ishwor for a clinical finish.
Taison scored his second capitalising to put in a rebound in the 66th minute.
Four minutes later, Parthiv was brought down inside the box and as the referee pointed to the spot, Jangra gleefully converted it to make it 5-0.
Eight minutes later it was 6-0 – substitute Tankadhar Bag tapping in Vibin Mohanan’s cross.
Substitute Gurkirat made it 7-0 in the 89th minute when he managed to snatch it, get past a couple and send it past Ishwor.
More was in store, and Shubho Paul completed the rout tapping in a Tankadhar cross in added time.
(Inputs from IANS)